I came up with the avians race when we were looking at racial options to put into the Seas of Vodari book (fully funded on Kickstarter). While it looks like we’re going with other racial options in the book, I thought this was far enough along to share in a blog post.

The design concept of the avians was to create racial options similar to the Kenku or Aarakocra, without the challenges that some DMs find with the inability to talk or a 50′ flying speed at level 1. Personally, I think the official sources have birdfolk covered pretty well, but if you are looking for something different, then these avians might give you an option or some ideas for your own.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


The avians are feather covered humanoids who believe they were chosen by the gods. While they lost their ability to fly, they have a divine connection to the magic of the world.

The avians are few in number and are compelled to travel from place to place. While they don’t have any permanent settlements you’ll find avians scattered around the port cities of the world.

Avians tend to live remarkable lives and are a natural fit as adventurers.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.

Age. Avians reach maturity at around the age of 16 and can live well past a century.

Alignment. Avians tend towards chaotic alignments thanks to their impulsiveness and curiosity. Some avians can be unpredictable or self-serving, but only when they are focused towards a personal goal or desire.

Size. Avians range from 5 to 6 feet tall and have slight builds. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Glide. If you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before a jump, you can long jump a distance equal to your speed. In addition, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by half.

Beak. Your beak  is a natural melee weapon, with which you are proficient. If you hit with your beak, the target takes piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Celestial, and one other language.

Subrace. The two main kinds of avians, parrotfolk and ravenfolk, are distant relatives. Choose one of these subraces.


Parrotfolk are quick talking and always looking to make a friend. They are known in most ports for their remarkable storytelling abilities that use colorful illusions. Parrotfolk usually stay out of trouble, but are excellent at talking their way out of trouble or using magic to aid their words if they need to escape.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.

Plumage Display. You have proficiency in the Persuasion skill.

Parrotfolk Magic. You know the minor illusion cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the enthrall spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.


Ravenfolk are curious and perceptive travelers from the north. Their secretive nature has created misconceptions that they are untrustworthy. They are most known for their uncanny abilities at scouting, spying, and thievery.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Trickster. You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.

Ravenfolk Magic. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the pass without trace spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Avian concept artwork by arabird_art.